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10 Incident Reporting Mistakes to Avoid

| January 4, 2023 | By

Incident response plans are designed to minimize the frequency and severity of incidents at your venue, but they’re only as good as the data that informs them. Poor incident reporting produces poor data and informs inadequate incident response plans, which can lead to: 

  • Unresponsive staff
  • Avoidable incidents 
  • Unimproved incident management processes
  • Ineffective incident management systems 

In this article, we’ll go over common signs of poor incident reporting processes, the mistakes they often produce, and the technology assets required to ensure those mistakes don’t happen.  

Signs of Poor Incident Reporting Process

Although poor incident reporting can take many different shapes and sizes, the biggest indicator of an insufficient incident reporting process is your staff. Do they struggle to quickly access unambiguous actionable information to plan and execute tasks? If so, there’s an issue with the process.

Usually, a team experiences these problems when data is missing or isn’t turned into actionable plans.

Information on incidents is missing.

Missing incident information often directly connects to a poor data collection tech asset. In other words, there isn’t incident management software in place that allows users and guests to quickly report incidents from anywhere. That means when an incident occurs in your venue, you aren’t receiving the whole picture. 

Incident data isn’t translated into action plans.

Even if you have a good data collection process, if it isn’t systematically reviewed and translated into an action plan, that data is essentially useless. During every incident, your staff needs to receive clear communication and actionable steps. 

Common Incident Reporting Mistakes 

With a poor incident reporting process, your team may be prone to mistakes that slow their response, decrease guest satisfaction, and negatively impact revenue. These mistakes can be avoidable if you implement the proper incident management software and processes—but first, you need to know which incident reporting mistakes to look out for.

1. Processes for addressing incidents are unclear.

This is maybe the biggest mistake that comes from poor incident reporting. If the process to report and resolve incidents is unclear, they cannot be handled properly. Plus, confusing or poorly defined processes that collect incomplete data will produce incomplete or deceptive reports.

2. The process for measuring your incident management system is unclear.

Incident management reporting isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it event; it’s an ongoing process that keeps a close eye on areas for improvement. However, you can’t measure the health of your system if it cannot produce the necessary data to show which areas need to be improved.

3. Incidents are unclassified and unprioritized. 

Not all incidents are equal in urgency and severity. Some require a quick response, but not all. You can't prioritize one over the other without certain incident reporting features, such as the ability to add multiple tags on incident reports to designate them as high or low priority. 

4. Key incident metrics aren’t measured.

You can’t identify the quality of your team’s performance without the right metrics. In other words, you can’t improve what you don’t track. Standard metrics you should be tracking include:

  • Time to recognize
  • Time to dispatch
  • Time to respond
  • Time to resolve

Your incident management system should make this data instantly accessible. 

5. Incident documentation is vague or unclear.

Incomplete, unclear, or inconsistent incident documentation often means the report is missing details about patrons who are involved in an incident. To resolve unclear incident documentation, teams should use a system with templates that prompt on-scene staff and patrons for required data. In addition, a multimedia approach to reporting—such as including video and photos—can provide visual information about the incident and specific patrons involved.

6. Incidents are closed out in batches.

Closing incidents in batches or at the end of an event can create confusion. It may even lead to attempts to address incidents that have already been resolved. Staff performance should be partly evaluated in terms of whether they close out incidents as they occur. You’ll need a system that effortlessly tracks who is handling each aspect of the incident and when the incident is concluded in real time.

7. Incident reports are siloed. 

Far too many incident management software platforms don’t account for data from across multiple systems such as maintenance, communications, and security. Incidents don’t occur in a vacuum. Your best insights come from building a holistic picture with software that records all incident, response, maintenance, and communication details in a single, easily searchable database.

8. Leadership assumes that a decrease in incident reports is good news and doesn’t follow up with an investigation.

No news isn’t always good news. If you’re seeing a trend of decreasing incidents, it could mean that your processes are sufficient, but it could also mean that you’re underreporting. 

9. Reports don’t influence decision-making.

Proactive operations via resource allocation—such as deciding when and where staff may be needed—requires reports to influence decision-making. Signs that you’re ignoring important reporting data include:

  • Lack of improvements to incident management processes over time
  • Reports that are infrequently or inconsistently generated and reviewed

Reports need to be tied to measurable goals because you’re unlikely to improve when you don’t track your data.

10. Using outdated incident reporting software.

You should no longer rely on manual, outdated, or disparate software because a growing number of incident management software platforms have entered the market. Using modern, integrated incident management software empowers you with features capable of cross-analyzing maintenance, communications, and general management functions.

Holistic Incident Management from 24/7 Software 

Your response plan’s main objective is to minimize the negative effects of incidents, but that plan is only as good as the data that informs it. With our Incident Management System’s integrated approach, you’re empowered to collect data, create plans, and communicate with the proper personnel to address incidents quickly and effectively. 

Want to give it a shot? Request a demo today!

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